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A new species of turtle discovered

Our commitment to conservation funding in PNG has led to the discovery of a new turtle species in the Southern rivers of New Guinea.

The discovery was the result of research funding provided to the University of Canberra to further support conservation in the area. This was following investment in research and educational engagement projects to protect Piku - the pig-nosed turtle.

The newly discovered turtle species forms part of the Chelidae family of side-neck turtles that are restricted to the continents of South America and Australia, including the island of New Guinea, Timor and Roti.

As a fresh water turtle, the new species has been recognised to be genetically related, but not identical to the Elseya Dentata, otherwise known as the Northern Snapping Turtle.

As part of the Elseya Genus category, the latest species joins the likes of the Elseya novaeguineae and the Elseya Schultzei.

The Elseya novaeguineae is commonly known as the New Guinea snapping turtle and is a long-term, widespread resident of New Guinea.

The newest species within the Elseya category can be restricted to the rivers south of the Central Ranges of New Guinea.

Although closely related, there are no localities where two or more of these species are known to exist in the same location. 

This exciting discovery is one of many new species of animal and plants being discovered by ExxonMobil PNG and our affiliates.